Career Notes 10.3.21
Ep 69 | 10.3.21

Pattie Dillon: Take the leap. [Anti-fraud]


Pattie Dillon: My name is Patti Dillon. I'm uh, the product manager for anti-fraud solutions at SpyCloud. 

Pattie Dillon: I guess really like way back, um, because of my age, I'm not a spring chicken, it was just like being a wife and a mother. And, um, so I, I honestly, uh, loved doing that too, but as my kids were growing up, I felt like I wasn't really missing something. And so, um, I went out and found a number of different careers that I enjoyed, but the one that was most interesting to me and I had the most passion for was preventing fraud. I've been doing this for geez, uh, close to 20 years in the anti-fraud space, cybersecurity space. 

Pattie Dillon: I had a small company in upstate New York and It served a number of small to medium sized businesses. And one of those businesses was an online tobacco business. So there's many different types of tobacco being sold online now. But at the time, it was very limited and the individual wanted to look for some sort of age verification solution. I got into the data world and honestly was flabbergasted by how much information was out there and said, wow, if we're going to build this, I'd really like to make sure that it's more privacy-oriented and people aren't required to put in the last four digits of their social or whatnot. And of course now it's very standard not to have to use the last four digits of social for identity. Beyond that, we started, uh, working on identity verification and one thing led to another and everything sort of exploded in terms of, in my mind, for, from a fraud perspective, you know, how much we could help to prevent. 

Pattie Dillon: I left that company and, um, started working with, uh, gift cards and then, um, then was exposed to learning about money laundering. Watching what the, the methods that were used by criminals to gain access to the gift card numbers, and then learning that, that like cybersecurity and breaches and leaks, were really behind all of this online fraud. From there starting to work with law enforcement and, um, merchants to, uh, help prevent, money laundering from occurring. 

Pattie Dillon: That led me then to, um, to underground data, understanding and, um, then starting to work with SpyCloud on product development around that. The product development started in the age verification piece of it. It was in good stand all the way through my, my career. At SpyCloud, uh, we're building products that, um, are leveraging in my opinion, one of the most robust and, uh, complete underground databases in the world. We're, we're looking at different ways to use that data to try and help, um, prevent fraud. I think that understanding that breaches and leaks are really at the core of, of this online fraud. It's really more about identifying the risk of that identity versus just looking at devices to try and solve for fraud. 

Pattie Dillon: It's been my experience that it's sort of a misunderstood type of data. There's really two core assumptions hindering the use of underground data to fight, uh, online fraud. And first is that every user is equally exposed, which is not true. And second that breach data is only valuable to criminals, again, not true. So the truth that I'd like to impart to the audience is that fraud prevention can benefit from that breached, exposed underground data. It really does provide signals of the user's risk, can help not only identify high risk, but it can also identify low risk. 

Pattie Dillon: I believe that being able to share the stories and being able to share, um, the, the things that have been successful in preventing, and what the types of attacks were that are happening are so important. Everybody has this weakness and the more that we can share with others of how we've remediated those weaknesses, the stronger that we're going to be in the fight against, you know, the cyber crimes and the fraud.

Pattie Dillon: There weren't a lot of opportunities, um, for me as a woman to take advantage of early on. So I sort of made my own. I guess the other pieces that I would like to change if at all possible would be that as a, uh, fraud anti-fraud professional, um, a lot of times in businesses, the fraud division is a lot smaller than sort of like the business growth division and that, um, disparity can really overtax the people in that fraud division who are trying their hardest to make things right on one side. 

Pattie Dillon: Anybody that's looking to get into this type of industry or career, you need to align with the mission. Also having a desire and a passion to prevent the fraudulent, uh, or cyber attack kind of events. And if you have that, and read insatiably and, network with people, there's definitely an opportunity. 

Pattie Dillon: I have always been a person who said, if you don't try, you'll never know. I did have a very good support system, and it, um, made it much easier certainly than maybe somebody that wouldn't have had that support system, but I don't feel that I would have been as fulfilled had I not taken that leap.